Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Quote This!

My dear friend and college roommate sent me this:

"Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get."

Lesson learned.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Endings & Beginnings

So this is what it feels like to turn away from everything you've been working for (on the outside) for the past years, to set fire to a path that guarantees you success, prestige, and "meaning" - the world. In some ways, perhaps I've just torched my future in the eyes of most people, but no matter what happens, I'll always look back and be proud of myself for the courage I had to do this.

I just withdrew from medical school. Wish me luck please, because I'm definitely going to need it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Soul Food

Art restores my faith in humanity. I visited the Met recently, and can't help but wonder whether it is entirely unjust to consider the human civilizations before our current one more "backward." The marvels of Oceanic wooden carvings, Rodin sculptures, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and Van Gogh's passionate flourishes are just but a few of the artistic triumphs of our species. Of course, being the yoga practitioner that I am, I had to wander over to the South & Southeast Asian art exhibit, which was unfortunately cordoned off for the most part. I peered over the velvet rope at the Shiva Nataraja statues, so iconic of Hinduism. There was a Ganesha statue made of sandstone, with careful detailing of his headdress and broken tusks, as well as such smoothness of Ganesha's elephant trunk. I was impressed by a mural of the Medicine Buddha with his entourage, covering the entire wall of a giant exhibition room. It must have taken the artist quite a long time to finish that! I saw countless bodhisattvas and buddhas, though all lovely, none inspired the same response in me as the one I saw in Deer Park (Sarnath). Most of all, I was touched by the artists' patience, devotion, and faith. How much dedication it must take to paint a twenty foot long calligraphy scroll, to carve intricate detailings into bronze, and to inscribe tiny flowers on French porcelain! The beauty and splendor captured fleetingly in these works of art reminds of the Truth that is out there. This is beauty that is not on the superficial reality-show-makeover level. I left the museum feeling like I'd eaten a hearty meal, satisfied on a level beyond just that of my stomach.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Moving Forward

"The winds of God's grace are always blowing, it is for us to raise our sails."
— Ramakrishna

Monday, December 6, 2010

Encouraging Words by Zen Master Guishan

Some day you will die.

Lying on your sick bed about to breathe your last, you will be assailed by every kind of pain,

Your mind will be filled with fears and anxieties and you will not know where to go or what to do,

Only then you will realize you have not practiced well.

The skandhas/aggregates (matter, sensations, conceptions, impulses and consciousness) and the four elements in you will quickly disintegrate, and your consciousness will be pulled wherever your ancient, twisted karma leads it.

Impermanence does not hesitate.

Death will not wait.

You will not be able to extend your life by even a second.

How many thousands times more will you have to pass through the gates of birth and death.

If these words are challenging, even insulting, let them be an encouragement for you to change.

Practice heroically.

Do not accumulate unnecessary possessions.

Don't give up.

Still your mind, end wrong perceptions, concentrate and do not run after the objects of your senses.

Practice diligently.

Be determined not to let your days and months pass by wastefully.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wake Up

And he made it clear that he would rather take his life than to be held by filial duty to go on in ignorance.

quote from "Wake Up: A Life of the Buddha," by Jack Kerouac

Friday, December 3, 2010


Today I was given the first pose of the Intermediate Series (second series) of Ashtanga Yoga! "Pashasana."